March 11th, 2019 | 43 mins 36 secs
baltimore, contemplative, higher education, holistic life foundation, meditation, mindfulness, naropa, naropa university, practice, public schools, teachers
"You know, we're doing this job dealing with people's problems and not necessarily giving them advice, but just allowing them to tap into their own thoughts and weigh out their own options to create decisions. The more you hold on—you attach yourself to an outcome, then that becomes stressful and then it's not genuine anymore. It's also stressful on the other end of the person that is dealing with the actual problem. So just knowing that you may not see the results—but one thing I have noticed is the maturity that came from my students that I've interacted with—the same situation, but a different outcome of the consequence whenever you're redirected."
March 4th, 2019 | 44 mins 16 secs
baltimore, baltimore schools, city public schools, education, fort worthington elementary school, holistic life foundation, meditation, mindfulness, monique debi, naropa university, patterson high school, principals, school, vance benton, yoga
"Anything dealing with meditation or anything dealing with children's emotional growth is difficult to quantify. And it's difficult to put a price on it. So, it's difficult for schools, principals in particular to bring programs when you gotta pay some people to do some things inside of a school. So, meditation and things of that nature unfortunately will be put on the backburner. And a lot of people's levels of urgency tend be well, low on that on that scale. Because a lot of people just aren't into it themselves. And unfortunately, can't see a broader picture, outside of what's the immediate gratification."
September 10th, 2018 | 37 mins 8 secs
hatha yoga, meditation, yoga teacher training
Kaṭha Upaniṣad is a sacred text from the Upaniṣad that describes yoga as a state of mind after the wild horses of the senses have been reined in. There is a metaphor of the body as a chariot, and horse-driven chariots were an important part of Hindu culture, so the metaphor resonated strongly in medieval India. Harnessing all of the mental energies–not letting your mind become your master, but becoming the master of your mind–is an important inner technology that many yoga traditions emphasize. When the mind is not running the show, I find that my perception actually becomes more beautiful, deeper. I see things more crisply and find beauty in unexpected places, including painful or dark situations. I'm able to extract more joy, inspiration, and meaning out of life. Our inner discernment of experiences and awareness is foundational to yoga traditions. We need to encourage a more historical awareness–one that focuses one's ability to discern between many different extremes in yoga traditions, and understanding their fundamental orientations, outlooks, and practices. That's something that's missing in the broader, popular world of yoga practice today.
April 23rd, 2018 | 49 mins 14 secs
holistic life foundation, meditation, public schools, yoga
The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through a comprehensive approach which helps children develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care HLF demonstrates a deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. HLF is also committed to developing high-quality evidence-based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being. Listen as we discuss the Foundation and Naropa with its founders.
April 2nd, 2018 | 28 mins 56 secs
improvisation, jass, john coltrane, meditation, miles davis, music, sonny rollins
Improvisation is a wonderful contemplative practice–a mindfulness practice–a discipline that has to do with paying attention in a very precise way to what's going on in the present moment. It's about showing up–being open to whatever is happening musically, to whatever my colleagues are playing, or to the environment of the room–the acoustics, the audience, that sort of thing–and really drawing inspiration from that. Paying attention to all of that requires one hundred percent concentration. Music happens so quickly, so naturally, your intellectual mind really can't keep up with it. The brain can't be analyzing and explaining and interpreting why you're playing, you just have to play. To me, that means you show up and play who you are.